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The Midwives and Mothers in Action (MAMA) Campaign:
The MAMA campaign is a collaborative effort by the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM), Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), Citizens for Midwifery (CfM), International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC), North American Registry of Midwives (NARM), and the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC).
This partnership is now at work to gain federal recognition of Certified Professional Midwives so that women and families will have increased access to quality, affordable maternity care in the settings of their choice. Sign up below to receive news and action alerts. We will be sending out information about the ways that you can take action for CPMs. Please consider endorsing the campaign, making a donation, and sharing your birth story on our site.
Federal recognition that enables Certified Professional Midwives to be Medicaid providers would:
- Increase the number of safe, qualified, affordable maternity care providers
- Eliminate current discriminatory policies that prevent low-income women on Medicaid from access to CPM services in their communities
- Save money and add no extra costs: women on Medicaid who choose an out-of-hospital birth with a Certified Professional Midwife would incur lower costs for Medicaid than if they had used a physician in a hospital
Increased access to Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) will improve the US maternity care system:
- Ensure quality care for every American – CPMs provide evidence-based, prevention-oriented and health-promoting care, with more babies that are healthy, full weight and full term, and much lower rates of cesarean section and medical interventions.
- Reduce costs – The reduction in interventions, unnecessary cesarean sections, and the associated increased health status of mothers and babies under the care of CPMs would lead to a cost savings to the US health care system.
- Guarantee choice – If CPMs are included in Medicaid reimbursement or a federal insurance program, CPMs and out-of- hospital birth would be available to all women, not just those who can afford to pay out-of-pocket.
Maternity Care : Access, Quality & Costs
Maternity care must be given priority:
- 4.3 million American women give birth each year
- 23% of all hospital discharges are related to childbearing
- Cesarean section is the most common operating room procedure in the U.S.
- Charges associated with pregnancy, delivery and newborn care are the most costly hospital condition for both Medicaid and private insurers
- The U.S. ranks behind most industrialized countries in basic indicators such as maternal and neonatal mortality
Midwives are the key to increasing access to effective maternity care:
- The American Public Health Association and the World Health Organization recommend midwives as the primary maternity care providers for the majority of women
- Nations with the lowest infant mortality employ midwives as the primary maternity care providers for the majority of women
- Mounting evidence supports the value and cost-savings potential of midwifery care
- CPMs are trained skilled credentialed attendants for out-of-hospital births
- Birth centers and planned home birth have been shown to be safe for low-risk women, with demonstrated potential to significantly reduce costs to the system
- CPMs are currently licensed in 25 states and own approximately half of the birth centers in the U.S.
The Milbank Report “Evidence-Based Maternity Care: What It Is and What It Can Achieve”
Key Findings : Midwives provide high-quality, cost-effective care – access to nationally credentialed midwives should be increased
- Policy Recommendation: “Foster broad access to safe, effective maternity care by setting adequate Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement rates for certified nurse-midwives (CNM), certified midwives (CM), and certified professional midwives”(CPM). (p. 70)
- “The low CPM study rates of intervention are benchmarks for what the majority of childbearing women and babies who are in good health might achieve.” (p. 29)
- “Projected cost savings from shifting to a system of care with midwives as primary care givers for most U.S. birthing women are considerable”. (p. 63)
Federal action is needed now to support on-going state efforts to increase access to quality maternity care and reduce costs:
- Reimburse and/or employ CPMs in publicly subsidized health care plans and services, including, but not limited to, Medicaid and Medicare, the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan, the National Health Service Corps, and the Indian Health Service
- Establish equitable reimbursement rates within applicable federal legislation
- Mandate reimbursement for birth centers
- Expand federal resources to educate more midwives
- Implement guidelines for evidence-based practice and cost-effective care in federal health care reform initiatives
To view resources and references for the statements above click HERE.